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President Biden Nominates First Black Woman to Serve on Federal Reserve Board of Governors

President Joe Biden on Friday, January 14, 2022, announced the nominations of three individuals to serve on the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors, including Lisa D. Cook, a professor of Economics and International Relations at Michigan State University. 

If confirmed, Cook would become the first African American woman to serve in that role.

A Marshall Scholar from Spelman College who received a second B.A. in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from Oxford University, Cook earned a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Berkeley.

Cook also served as a faculty member of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of 

Government; Deputy Director for Africa Research at the Center for International Development at Harvard; and is a National Fellow at Stanford University.

“[President Biden] is working to bring long-overdue diversity to the leadership of the Federal Reserve,” Erica Lowe, the White House Director of African American Media, wrote on Twitter. “Lisa D. Cook would be the first Black woman in history to serve on the Board.” 

The President also nominated Phillip Jefferson, the dean of faculty at Davidson College in North Carolina, and Sarah Bloom Raskin, a former Federal Reserve and Treasury official, for positions on the Board.

Raskin was nominated for the top regulatory post.

The Senate must approve each of the nominations.

For Cook and Jefferson, confirmation would mean joining an exclusive club— the duo would count among just five Black governors in the 108-year history of the Federal Reserve. 

“This group will bring much-needed expertise, judgment, and leadership to the Federal Reserve while at the same time bringing a diversity of thought and perspective never seen before on the Board of Governors,” President Biden said in a statement. “Together with Chair Powell and Dr. Brainard, who I re-nominated last month, this group will bring much-needed expertise, judgment, and leadership to the Federal Reserve while at the same time bringing a diversity of thought and perspective never seen before on the Board of Governors. 

“They will continue the important work of steering us on a path to a strong, sustainable recovery while making sure that price increases do not become entrenched over the long term. 

“I have full confidence in the strong leadership of this group of nominees and that they have the experience, Judgment and integrity to lead the Federal Reserve and to help build our economy back better for working families.”

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